Houston is hands down the best food city in Texas, and we Houstonians are spoiled. We're used to being able to readily find great examples of pretty much any cuisine.
One area where we've had difficulty in Houston is Bar-B-Q. Sure, Houston has some amazing BBQ joints, like Thelma's and Burns. But the typical BBQ place in Houston serves mediocre BBQ, especially if you're looking for a convenient, family-friendly setting that won't challenge the less adventurous among us.
Enter Rudy's. This San Antonio based chain has established several outposts in Houston, and has developed a reputation for better-than-average BBQ. Our first visit (soon after the Spring store opened) wasn't memorable, but we'd been hearing good things, so we visited again.
Ordering at Rudy's is different than most BBQ restaurants, but will seem familiar to anyone who's been to any of the meat markets that often offer the best BBQ to be found. Once you reach the counter, you order your meat by the pound, and it's sliced to order. We prefer this ordering method.
On this trip, brisket was under investigation. Rudy's gives you the option of lean or moist brisket; this corresponds to the wet or dry end of the brisket. Wet, in this case, refers to fat, and that's where the flavor is. We ordered our favorite: An outside cut from the wet end.
What arrived was some of the most beautiful brisket we'd seen in quite a while. Moist, fork tender, rimmed with a beautiful 3/8" smoke ring, and encrusted with a perfectly charred pepper and spice rub, this brisket was ready for the cover of Texas Monthly.
And the flavor did not disappoint. Lush, smoky, with that oak flavor that doesn't come on as fast as mesquite, but which provides a very satisfying BBQ flavor. And this is real BBQ; sauce (or sause, as Rudy's spells it) is strictly optional.
We also sampled a link of Rudy's "Regular" sausage, the milder of the two offered. It was good, with a firm texture and smooth smoky flavor. But it was the brisket that stole the show.
Rudy's | 20806 I-45 North | Spring, Texas | 77373 | 281-288-0916